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[CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 205]
Subject: [CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 205]
Send date: 2009-12-18 17:09:39
Issue #: 20
Content:
Bulletin CTA
 
1

This weblog shares information on key ACP-EU programmes and events
from Brussels relevant to agriculture and rural development in ACP countries.


Date : [DATE]
CTA Brussels Newsletter

Main events in the week
  1. Season’s Greetings from CTA!
  2. Main ACP-EU events for next week (21-27 December)
  3. Brussels Development Briefing: "From Global Food Crisis to Local Food Insecurity"
  4. Our video guest: Dr. Steve Wiggins, Researcher at ODI
  5. EU to impose tax on multinationals
  6. Europe offers €7 billion for third world climate cash
  7. Brown, Sarkozy pledge more climate aid
  8. Total allowable catches and quotas for 2010
  9. Conference on GMOs in European agriculture and food production
  10. Obligations of operators who place timber on the market
  11. Animal welfare labeling scheme
  12. Progress in SA-EU negotiations
  13. Brown and Sarkozy call for super-tax
  14. Cameroon plans to produce 125,000 tonnes of coffee in 2015
  15. Trade agreements and their relation to labour standards
  16. Lamy hails accord ending long running banana dispute
  17. Legal and systematic issues in the interim EPAs: Which way now?
  18. Environmental issues in EPAs: Implications for developing countries
  19. Milk: Agreement reached on distribution of additional €300 million
  20. The Visby Agenda - new ICT policies in the EU?
  21. 'Lack of initiative from the project partners' – EC monitoring report
  22. Export helpdesk newsletter
  23. Fact sheet 'Tax and Development'
  24. PM warns about Tuvalu being submerged due to climate change
  25. Haiti signs the CARIFORUM–EU Economic Partnership Agreement
  26. EU summit struggles to raise climate aid cash
  27. '.eu' internet domain now available in all EU languages
  28. Commission launches on-line vote for the new EU Organic Logo
  29. Research into serious diseases VS animal protection


  1. Season’s Greetings from CTA!
    2009-12-18

    Dear Reader,
     
    Thank you for visiting our weblog.
     
    Due to the year-end festivities, many activities in the EU and ACP offices in Brussels will be suspended. Therefore, the publication of news on the weblog and the dissemination of our weekly bulletin will resume on Monday 4 January 2010.
     
    We wish you an excellent new year in 2010!



  2. Main ACP-EU events for next week (21-27 December)
    2009-12-18

    EU Presidency (Brussels):
    - 21 December: Working Party of Foreign Relations Counsellors «Relex»;Working Party on Commodities (PROBA)
    - 22 December: Environment Council

    For more information please consult the calendar on our webpage http://brussels.cta.int/


    Link EU Presidency


  3. Brussels Development Briefing: "From Global Food Crisis to Local Food Insecurity"
    2009-12-18
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Security, Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Environment

    On 9th December 2009, more than 100 experts attended the 15th Brussels Development Briefing on "From Global Food Crisis to Local Food Insecurity" organised by the CTA and its partners. The Briefing examined the domino effects of increased speculation in food markets and the impacts of the global food and financial crisis on food production, food distribution and developing countries’ food security. The risks for global food production and the role that small-scale farming can play in times of crisis in least-developed countries have been discussed, along with the policy options that can secure food supply and availability at global and local level. For more information (including presentations and interviews): http://www.brusselsbriefings.net.
    Link Read more on the Briefing
    Link CTA Reader on Food Security
    Link Past Briefings


  4. Our video guest: Dr. Steve Wiggins, Researcher at ODI
    2009-12-18
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Security, Aid effectiveness, Environment

    Dr. Steve Wiggins is our weblog guest this week. Dr. Steve Wiggins is an experienced agricultural economist with interests in rural livelihoods, poverty, food security and nutrition who has worked extensively in Africa and Latin America. He leads work at the Overseas Development Institute on agricultural development, food prices and biofuels. Mr. Wiggins talks about spike food prices and the four major transitions that concern agriculture: the energy transition, water scarcity, the impacts of gas emissions and the consequences of climate change.
    Link Read more on the ODI
    Link Watch the video


  5. EU to impose tax on multinationals
    2009-12-18
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness, Rural development, Archive, Environment, Food Security

    The European Union is considering imposing a tax on multinational corporations which shirk their tax responsibilities in developing countries while hiding their profits away in secrecy jurisdictions/tax havens. EU Development Commissioner Karel De Gucht suggested last week a tax in Europe for multinationals operating in developing nations but squirrelling profits off to tax havens. "We must take our responsibilities regarding multinationals based in Europe with activities in the developing world and not consider that financial transfer to tax havens have been duly taxed", De Gucht told a good governance conference at the European Parliament in Brussels. Asked for details, he said that Europeans should find a system to allow them to raise considerable funds for development aid. Currently tax evasion is "at least three times bigger than development aid", he added. Funds collected from such companies could be used as development aid. Tax evasion is "a real development problem", he said, before calling for tax reform in developing nations. "Helping developing countries to strengthen their tax systems and to raise more tax revenues is not just a new theme or the new fashion in the development agenda. It is in fact an essential key to sustainable development and to enhance ownership of poverty reduction policies".

    Source: Financial Taskforce


    Link Read more
    Link Read more (2)
    Link DG Development


  6. Europe offers €7 billion for third world climate cash
    2009-12-18
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment, Aid effectiveness

    European Union leaders have agreed to offer around €7.2 billion to help developing countries deal with the effects of climate change over the next three years. After a hard push by the Swedish presidency of the EU at a summit of the bloc's premiers and presidents in Brussels on Friday to get every single member state on board with a contribution to the pool of money, by mid-morning, each capital had signed up with a figure, even if from some of the poorer countries the amount was only symbolic. While final figures may still shift and many are still approximate, the sums range from €1.6 billion from the UK down to €30,000 from Latvia, the EU state perhaps the most severely hit by the global financial crisis.

    Source: EU Observer


    Link Read more
    Link Read more (2)
    Link EU climate package


  7. Brown, Sarkozy pledge more climate aid
    2009-12-18
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment, Aid effectiveness

    France and the UK today pledged to provide developing countries with €2.4 billion over the next three years to help them cope with the effects of climate change. Speaking at a joint press conference with UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said the two countries had made the three-year pledge in a bid to "make credible" the longer-term offers that rich countries will make offer to developing countries. Brown said it was time "for action backed up with strong commitments". The two leaders were speaking in Brussels at the start of a second day of discussions with the EU's other 25 members about the level of support they are willing to provide developing countries. The EU is expected to announce today that it will provide at least €2.1bn a year for 2010-12. The British and French commitments amount to about 40% of that anticipated total. The money is part of a total EU contribution to the estimated €5 bn-€7bn needed for developing countries over 2010-12 to help them deal with the existing effects of climate change and to reduce their greenhouse-gas emissions.

    Source: European Voice


    Link Read more
    Link Developing countries and climate change
    Link Copenhagen Summit


  8. Total allowable catches and quotas for 2010
    2009-12-17
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries, ACP-EU Trade, Environment

    The 2986th Council meeting on Agriculture and Fisheries held in Brussels on 14-16 December 2009  reached a political agreement on a draft regulation setting fishing opportunities for 2010 for Community vessels in the waters of the Atlantic, the Channel and the North Sea (TACs and quotas for the Baltic and Black Seas were already adopted on 20 and 27 November). In line with long-term conservation management plans applicable for certain stocks, the Council agreed to reductions, compared to 2009, for some species.

    Source: Council of the EU


    Link Read more
    Link More on TACs
    Link CTA Briefing on Fisheries


  9. Conference on GMOs in European agriculture and food production
    2009-12-17
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Food Security, Environment

    At the 2986th Council meeting on Agriculture and Fisheries held in Brussels on 14-16 December 2009, the delegation of Netherlands provided information regarding the conclusions of the Internal conference on GMOs in european agriculture and food production policy in Europe held in The Hague on 15-16 November 2009. Some delegations warmly thanked Gerda Verburg, Minister for Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality and her colleague, Jacqueline Cramer Minister for Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment who jointly organised the event. The Austrian and Hungarian delegations welcomed the idea to have a Commission’s proposal allowing individual Member States to adopt national measures leading to regulate and/or prohibit the cultivation of GMOs on their own territory1. Commissionner Vassiliou reminded ministers of President Barroso's political guidelines regarding GMOs: "In an area like GMOs, for example, it should be possible to combine a Community authorisation system, based on science, with freedom for Member States to decide whether or not they wish to cultivate GM crops on their territory".

    Source: Council of the EU


    Link Read more
    Link Report of the Conference
    Link EU Agriculture and GMOs


  10. Obligations of operators who place timber on the market
    2009-12-17
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Environment

    The 2986th Council meeting on Agriculture and Fisheries held in Brussels on 14-16 December 2009 reached a partial political agreement on the text of a draft Regulation laying down the obligations of operators who place timber and timber products on the market. The political agreement on the entire text could be reached during one of the Council forthcoming meeting. The European Parliament adopted its opinion on 22 April 2009. The Council adopted the FLEGT (Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade) Regulation in December 2005 and gave the Commission mandate to open negotiations with third countries willing to enter voluntary partnership agreements.

    Source: Council of the EU


    Link Read more
    Link Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade
    Link FLEGT Action Plan


  11. Animal welfare labeling scheme
    2009-12-17
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Regional Fisheries

    The 2986th Council meeting on Agriculture and Fisheries held in Brussels on 14-16 December 2009 took note of the presentation by the Commission of its report on options for animal welfare labelling and the establishment of a European Network of Reference Centres for the protection and welfare of animals. The report identifies various issues concerning animal welfare labelling and communication, and the possible establishment of a European Network of Reference Centres for the protection and welfare of animals, based on the results of an external study provided to the Commission in January 2009. The feasibility study on animal welfare labelling shows that the best option for EU action empowering consumers to make informed purchasing decisions is a Community Animal Welfare Label modelled after the EU organic label. A Community Animal Welfare Label can be expected to have more direct effects on animal welfare than other voluntary options, depending on the market share of the label.

    Source: Conseil de l'UE


    Link Read more
    Link EU Agriculture
    Link EU Fisheries


  12. Progress in SA-EU negotiations
    2009-12-17
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development

    The deadlock in trade negotiations between the EU and South Africa that threatened to break the world's oldest customs union, the Southern African Customs Union (SACU), is set to ease off, thanks to progress being made in ironing out differences between the two parties. The Head of Delegation of the EU in Botswana, Paul Malin said he was confident SACU would stay intact after the EU softened its stance and agreed to apply a common tariff to its exports to the region. This was the contentious issue that led to a breakdown in negotiations when South Africa insisted on a Common External Tariff for the southern African region in spite of its separate trade agreement with the EU-Trade, Development Cooperation Agreement (TDCA). "In principle, we have agreed to harmonise the TDCA and the interim Economic Partnership Agreement so that a common tariff can apply to the whole region", Malin said. "What is left now is to just formalise this and I believe the process should be completed by early next year. However, there are still other issues, such as the Rules of Origin, which might need a bit more time to solve as they might have political connotations as well". Botswana, along with Swaziland, Lesetho and Mozambique, has initialled the interim EPA, while South Africa, Angola and Namibia have remained on the sidelines.

    Source: Mmegi Online


    Link Read more
    Link Economic Partnership Agreements
    Link EC Delegation to South Africa


  13. Brown and Sarkozy call for super-tax
    2009-12-17
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment, Aid effectiveness

    France and UK "completely aligned" on the need for a special tax on bankers' bonuses. UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown and French President Nicolas Sarkozy met last week on on the margins of a European summit to discuss plans to impose a "super-tax" on bankers, which they advocated in a joint opinion piece published today in the Wall Street Journal. The two leaders wrote that "a one-off tax in relation to bonuses should be considered a priority" by the international community. The UK's finance minister, Alistair Darling, announced a 50% tax on bonuses over €27,600. Details of the French tax have yet to be officially announced, but one newspaper, Les Echos, reports that it will be set at 50% and levied on bonuses over €27,000. Speaking after Brown and Sarkozy met, a UK government spokesman said the two countries positions were "completely aligned" on the super-tax and that the meeting was "very convivial". Brown and Sarkozy wrote that large bonus payments were unwarranted because the banks had had to rely on the support of taxpayers in order to survive the financial crisis. The UK tax has been heavily criticised by sections of the country's financial-services industry as damaging to the country's competitiveness.

    Source: European Voice


    Link Read more
    Link Taxes and GHG emissions
    Link Copenhagen Summit


  14. Cameroon plans to produce 125,000 tonnes of coffee in 2015
    2009-12-16
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development

    The new strategy for 2010 to 2015 has been designed by the stakeholders in the national coffee sector. The government has also been involved, through the Ministries of Commerce, Agriculture, Rural Development, Scientific Research and Innovation, the Economy and Town and Country Planning. All of these eminent representatives were also aided by Cameroon’s development partners including the All ACP Agricultural Commodities Programme, the International Trade Centre, the European Commission, the World Bank, the United Nations Fund for Agriculture, the United Nations Conference for Trade and Development, etc. The recently released document obtained by Le Messager contains a dispassionate analysis of the unenviable situation in the Cameroonian coffee sector. The experts who wrote it observe a general downwards trend in Cameroonian coffee production and exports over the past thirty years. They say it began in the 1990s, bottoming out between 1992 and 1994 when the sectors were liberalised. "After the recovery, which drew to a halt in the late 1990,s an inexorable and worrying decline seems to have set in", they report. The document underpins its conclusions with figures, revealing that 115,680 tonnes of coffee were produced in Cameroon in 1989 but that output fell to 24,360 in1994. A revival occurred in 1999 when output reached 82,200 tonnes but production then began falling year on year until, in 2008, it was only 43,000 tonnes. Processing and consumption have also deteriorated. The last survey, which was carried out in 2006, reveals a constant decline from 2000 onwards. Domestic processing and consumption dropped from 6,000 tonnes in 1999 to 4,500 tonnes in 2000. They have been stagnant since 2001.

    Soiurce: Le Messager


    Link Read more
    Link Cameroon's coffee production
    Link EU relations with Cameroon


  15. Trade agreements and their relation to labour standards
    2009-12-16
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Archive, Rural development

    This study provides a political and legal review of how international labour standards have been introduced and how those standards have evolved in the international trade arena. The author analyses new trends and negotiations on trade and labour standards at the multilateral, regional, and bilateral levels. The aim of the study is to offer developing country governments and other relevant stakeholders broad guidelines on how to address these issues in international negotiations with a focus on Regional trade agreements (RTAs), taking into account the experience of countries such as Chile that have already negotiated several of those agreements. Many of these agreements contain some similar baseline clauses including objectives, scope, and minimum international standards. There is also a certain level of divergence in those agreements, especially in relation to specific commitments, arrangements for compliance and dispute resolution clauses. In some cases, countries have adopted co-operation provisions and programmes for improving their capacity for inspection and control. The author concludes that there could be clear benefits from introducing labour standards in RTAs and provides some policy recommendations for developing countries to enable them to take advantage of such provisions.

    Source: ICTSD


    Link Read more
    Link EU Regional Trade Agreements
    Link Regional Trade Agreements


  16. Lamy hails accord ending long running banana dispute
    2009-12-16
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development

    Director General Pascal Lamy applauded yesterday the successful efforts of Latin American banana producing nations, the United States and the European Union to end their long running dispute over trade in bananas. The banana issue is one of the longest running disputes in the post-WWII multilateral trading system. It has generated considerable debate and litigation among the widest range of the entire WTO membership. And it has resulted in multiple legal rulings by dispute panels, the Appellate Body and special arbitrators. All this attention has focussed on the treatment the EU gives to the import of bananas from the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries in preference to bananas from Latin America. Yesterday, the final, comprehensive agreement has been announced by the EU.

    Source: WTO


    Link Read more
    Link Read more (2)
    Link Lomé Convention and banana


  17. Legal and systematic issues in the interim EPAs: Which way now?
    2009-12-16
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Food Security

    This issue paper, titled “Legal and Systemic Contested issues in Economic Partnership Agreements and WTO Rules: Which Way Now?”, and written by Dr Cosmas Milton Obote O’chieng, provides a legal analysis of some systemic issues regarding the relationship between the WTO and EPAs.  Some of these issues include the following: The application of the Most Favourable Nation Clause, Article XXIV of GATT and its relationship with EPAs; The effects of the “standstill” clause on bound or applied tariff rates applied to ACP countries by WTO members; The political and legal effects of the “Non-Execution Clause” in EPAs; The articulation of the dispute settlement mechanisms of EPAs and their interactions with the WTO one. The paper concludes with a series of legal recommendations that could be useful to all stakeholders in understanding the stakes involved in the EPA negotiations.

    Source: ICTSD


    Link Read more
    Link More on ICTSD
    Link ACP-EU Trade


  18. Environmental issues in EPAs: Implications for developing countries
    2009-12-15
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment, ACP-EU Trade

    This issue paper, titled “Environmental Issues in Economic Partnership Agreements: Implications for Developing Countries exhaustively reviews all rules related to trade and environment in several of the already signed EPAs. The aim of the paper is to enable ACP countries to understand how trade policy related to the environment has been introduced in EPAs, and how those policies might impact sustainable development in ACP countries. The paper starts by presenting the current European approach on trade and environment in those agreements. More specifically, it addresses the current state of negotiations, analyses precise proposals made, and explores some of the implications of introducing environmental issues in the EPAs. Some of the issues for ACPs examined by the paper include a discussion of the difficulties of managing and coordinating the various regional groupings in the negotiations, the potential complementarities and conflicts with other existing international agreements (multilateral environmental agreements and WTO agreements), the challenges related to the implementation of new environmental standards, and the settlement of disputes as well as the strengthening of environmental capacities.

    Source: ICTSD


    Link Read more
    Link Environment and development
    Link Economic Partnership Agreements


  19. Milk: Agreement reached on distribution of additional €300 million
    2009-12-15
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Food Security, Aid effectiveness

    Member States voted yesterday in favour of a Commission proposal to divide up an additional €300 million in aid for EU dairy farmers. The money will be distributed according to production within quota in the 2008/09 milk production season (April 2008-March 2009). The money will have to be allocated to individual farmers who are severely affected by the low dairy prices of this summer and who encounter liquidity problems. Member States will have to communicate before the end of February the objective criteria they will use to allocate the money to individual farmers. The money has to be paid before the end of June 2010. The money is divided up as follows (in million euros): BE 7.21, BG 1.84, CZ 5.79, DK 9.86, DE 61.20, EE 1.30, IE 11.50, EL 1.58, ES 12.79, FR 51.13, IT 23.03, CY 0.32, LV 1.45, LT 3.10, LU 0.60, HU 3.57, MT 0.08, NL 24.59, AT 6.05, PL 20.21, PT 4.08, RO 5.01, SL 1.14, SK 2.03, FI 4.83, SE 6.43, UK 29.26.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link EU dairy products
    Link DG Agriculture


  20. The Visby Agenda - new ICT policies in the EU?
    2009-12-15
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive

    The current EU presidency, Sweden, recently organized a meeting to discuss the future of the European information society (Visby Agenda-Creating Impact for an eUnion 2015). The main goal for the event was to reach a consensus on a new European ICT agenda. A central ambition is to enhance the use of ICT to promote sustainable and more environmental production and consumption. The Presidency Conclusions from Visby express the ambition for Europe to become “the most dynamic and competitive knowledge based economy”. This is to be accomplished by generating innovative ICT services and at the same time seeing to that Europe’s environmental responsibilities are fulfilled. It is welcomed that the need to switch from a supply-perspective to a service-generating demand side perspective, since this is essential for ensuring that future EU ICT development is efficient. Further, this implies that the EU has recognized the potential of ICT to not only make its own industry more sustainable, but also to offer environmentally efficient solutions to others.

    Source: Talkstandards


    Link Read more
    Link More on the Visby Agenda
    Link Presidency conclusions


  21. 'Lack of initiative from the project partners' – EC monitoring report
    2009-12-15
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Archive, Food Security

    On November 30, the Action team received the Monitoring report on the initial 5 months. The report mainly contains judgments on the design and the quality of the Logical Framework Matrix-logframe presented in the project proposal. It also expresses some ex-ante judgments on the likelihood of the project impact and sustainability on the basis of assessment on the size and the previous experiences of the Partner Organizations, without considering the experience and the professional competence of the experts. They point out that action issues have been listed very well; but there is some confusion between the policy and cultural issues the action is tackling (i.e. the problems upon which the action wants to have a positive impact in front of which the action objectives were conceived) and the issues emerging from project implementation (i.e. the managerial challenges that the manager is facing with the team). However, the monitoring report does not analyze if the project milestones have been achieved in time, nor does it evaluate the consistency of the deliverables or compare the quality of the outputs produced with the quality expected in the action proposal.

    Source: Eugad


    Link Read more
    Link More on Eugad
    Link EC External cooperation programmes


  22. Export helpdesk newsletter
    2009-12-14
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Food Security, Rural development

    The December issue is discussing the new regulations on organic farming entered into force in 2009. The organic farming sector is subject to ever growing interest both among European consumers who opt to buy organic products as an alternative to products from conventional production and among farmers in developing countries who seize the opportunity to export their organic produce to the EU market to respond to this demand. This issue alerts on the new import provisions that exporters in third countries need to apply when trading organic products within the EU. It also reports on the end of transitional quotas for sugar and rice under the EU's 'Everything But Arms' (EBA) initiative of the Generalised System of Preferences. The EBA regime has been providing all least developed countries with duty free access to the EU market for all their exports, except for arms and ammunitions, and with limited transitional quotas for sugar and rice. These have been progressively expanded annually since 2001. Very recently, all imports of rice and sugar under the EBA regime have been fully liberalised. This is certainly very good news for many sugar and rice producers in least developed countries!

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Economic Partnership Agreements
    Link DG Trade


  23. Fact sheet 'Tax and Development'
    2009-12-14
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Archive, Food Security

    Taxes are central for the functioning of a state and for the provision of public goods. Many developing countries cannot finance their policies through taxes and rely on external revenues such as development assistance. Generally, developing countries have a lower tax-to-GDP ratio than developed countries. According to several studies examining the tax-to-GDP ratio in Sub Saharan Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean and Asia: In Sub Saharan Africa, the tax-to-GDP ratio increased from less than 15% in 1980 to more than 18% in 2005. This increase is almost entirely due to natural resource taxes (income from production sharing, royalties or corporate income tax on oil and mining companies). In the same 25 years non-resource related revenue rose by less than 1 % of GDP (Keen/Mansour). There are considerable differences among African countries such as the Central African Republic and Guinea where tax revenue is under 10% of GDP, and South Africa were it reaches 25% or even Namibia where it is 30.1% (Volkerink). In Latin America and the Caribbean the tax-to-GDP ratio has increased from 12 % in 1990 to 18.5% in 2006. The ratio is as low as 10% in Haiti and reaches more than 34% in Brazil. Mexico is the only country where the ratio decreased (from 12.6% to 11%) (Martner).

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link 2009 European Report on Development
    Link Finance and Development


  24. PM warns about Tuvalu being submerged due to climate change
    2009-12-14
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment, Aid effectiveness

    Climate change has already had a serious impact on some countries. Tuvalu is one of them. If nothing is done, this country of several islands in the Pacific Ocean, is likely to disappear as the sea level rises. Prime Minister Apisai Ielemia, was in Parliament Thursday and spoke to us about his hopes that the Copenhagen summit will get an agreement on cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

    Source: European Parliament


    Link Read more
    Link Climate change and developing countries
    Link EC Delegation to Pacific countries


  25. Haiti signs the CARIFORUM–EU Economic Partnership Agreement
    2009-12-14
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Regional Fisheries

    On December 11, Haiti signed the Economic Partnership Agreement and joins the fourteen Caribbean States that signed the EPA in October 2008. This will strengthen Haiti's ties both with the EU, and with other Caribbean countries. The Cariforum-EU EPA is North-South trade and development agreement of new generation. It aims to promote sustainable development, boost trade, investment and innovation, help build a regional market among Caribbean countries, and tackle poverty in the region. Previous preferential trade arrangements with the EU had failed to boost Caribbean countries' development. Other developing countries had also criticised those arrangements as discriminating against them, and had challenged them at the World Trade Organisation. So the EU and the Cariforum group of Caribbean countries negotiated a new trade and development agreement, the EPA, between 2004 and 2007. The EPA was signed in October 2008, by 14 out of fifteen Cariforum member states. The only Least Developed Country in the Western hemisphere, Haiti has recently been grappling with a range of pressing problems.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link More on Cariforum
    Link EPA signatory countries


  26. EU summit struggles to raise climate aid cash
    2009-12-14
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment, Aid effectiveness, Food Security

    European nations are set to pledge around six billion euros to help poor nations tackle global warming at a summit in Brussels on 11th December, but the funding will be provided on a voluntary basis as a result of worrying debt problems in countries like Greece. Fredrik Reinfeldt, the Swedish prime minister and current holder of the EU's six-month rotating residency, said he was confident that the sums would be found. More than half of the EU's 27 member states have already promised so-called 'fast-start' funding for the next three years until 2013, he explained. But the Swedish premier warned that contributions would only be made on a voluntary basis, as countries are in very different budgetary positions. "We have EU member states with International Monetary Fund programmes, with huge budget deficits. This is on a voluntary basis, and already more than half of the states have provided figures", Reinfeltd told a press conference in Brussels on the 10th December.

    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link Copenhagen Summit
    Link EU agreement on climate funding


  27. '.eu' internet domain now available in all EU languages
    2009-12-14
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive

    European citizens, businesses and organisations can register '.eu' website names using characters from all 23 official languages of the European Union. This means that registrants, for example, can use Greek or Cyrillic names like www. διαδίκτυο.eu or www.роуминг.eu. This was made possible thanks to new EU rules adopted by the Commission in June 2009 ( IP/09/1044). "Internationalised Domain Names under .eu, our European Top Level Domain, are a big step towards a truly global and at the same time local internet. Many internet users will come from countries where most languages are not based on the 'a to z' Latin script and they will naturally want to use their own scripts", said Viviane Reding, the EU's Information Society Commissioner. "The launch of international domain names under .eu will respond even better to the needs of a multilingual and multicultural Europe". Internationalised Domain Names (IDN) are internet domain names that contain other characters in addition to the 26 characters of the Latin alphabet "a" to "z", digits "0" to "9" and "-". Before, those registering domain names under '.eu' could only use this limited set of characters but now a whole range of different characters used in the various official languages of the EU can be registered.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Europe's Information Society Portal
    Link Eurid portal


  28. Commission launches on-line vote for the new EU Organic Logo
    2009-12-14
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Food Security, Environment

    On the 7th of December, the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development invited all Europeans to cast their vote in the final stage of the EU organic logo competition. The website http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/organic/logo/index.htm hosts the online vote where the three final logos will be displayed until 31 January. The new logo aims to enhance consumer protection and promote organic farming. Unlike the current logo, the winning entry will be obligatory for all pre-packaged organic products that derive from the 27 Member States and meet the labelling standards.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Logo online vote
    Link Organic farming


  29. Research into serious diseases VS animal protection
    2009-12-14

    How do we find the right balance between the protection of animal rights and research needs? For ethical reasons, the use of animals in scientific experiments has to be limited, but that must be without hindering European research into debilitating diseases, according to Parliament. How exactly that should be done is currently under debate. The Commission's proposal is to ban the use of some categories of animal for scientific research and the EP agreed that the great apes - chimps, gorillas and so on shouldn't be used, but it was concerned that restricting the use of other primates could put European research into diseases like cancer, HIV, malaria, tuberculosis and Alzheimer's at a disadvantage compared with US and Asian competitors. Representatives of the Council, EP and Commission meeting on Monday reached a compromise on a number of issues, opening the way for a vote in plenary next year. We asked German Christian Democrat Elisabeth Jeggle, who is Parliament's chief negotiator, to explain more.

    Source: European Parliament


    Link Read more
    Link European Parliament legislative resolution
    Link Commission's web-site on laboratory animals



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Isolina BOTO
CTA
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Copyright © 2009 Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU. Email:cta@cta.int
The opinions expressed in the comments and analysis are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of CTA.

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